Iceland, Greenland and Northwest Passage – Great Explorer Trail

Iceland, Greenland and Northwest Passage – Great Explorer Trail

Iceland, Greenland and Northwest Passage – Great Explorer Trail

Iceland, Greenland and Northwest Passage – Great Explorer Trail

Travel information 31 Days MS Fram
August 2, 2023
Price from $ 28,689
$ 24,681
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

This expedition cruise sails from Iceland to the wild fjords of Greenland before entering the heart of Canada’s Northwest Passage.

Majestic and wild East Greenland

From Reykjavík, we sail across the Denmark Strait to the spectacular east coast of Greenland. Our destination is Scoresbysund, the world’s largest fjord system. In total, this vast pristine region fans out over 14,000 square miles. Under the expert guidance of our Expedition Team, you’ll take an intimate look at this precious ecosystem through landings, nature walks, and kayaking tours.

Wildlife abounds in this peaceful haven. Watch for whales and other marine wildlife as we glide through dark, placid waters beneath soaring mountains. Birding enthusiasts should look out for species including Brünnich’s guillemots, snowy owls and Greenlandic gyrfalcons.

Southern Greenland and on to the Northwest Passage

From here, you’ll sail south to Prince Christian Sound, a remarkable maze of granite rock filled with ice floes and glaciers. We’ll spend four days exploring the fjords and settlements, including the capital, Nuuk, and the stunning UNESCO-listed Ilulissat Icefjord.

The next part of your cruise takes us across the Davis Strait into Canada’s Northwest Passage. This icy waterway is only passable a few weeks of the year, so navigating it safely involves challenging the elements, needs some flexibility, and requires a sense of adventure. All routes include breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife, with Thule and Inuit settlements. Your adventure ends in cosmopolitan Montréal.

Iceland, Greenland and Northwest Passage – Great Explorer Trail Iceland, Greenland and Northwest Passage – Great Explorer Trail
  • Day 1
    Reykjavík, Iceland

    The adventure begins

    August 2, 2023

    Start your expedition cruise in Iceland’s capital city, a center for art, culture, history, and pleasure.

    Your expedition cruise begins at Reykjavík, where MS Fram awaits in the harbor. Reykjavík means ‘Smoky Inlet’, coming from the steam rising from its hot springs. Today, the hot water from geothermal energy heats numerous pools and hot tubs.

    The world’s northernmost capital is both traditional and cosmopolitan, with plenty to do and see. Explore the delightful boutiques, outdoor shops, and pubs of busy Laugarvegur. Or, take in knowledge to your heart’s content in the wonderful museums of art, culture, and history. After that, it’s time to go aboard, meet your Expedition Team, and start the adventure!


    Consider arriving a few days earlier to explore this beautiful country in more depth. We recommend booking a two-day or four-day Pre-Program with us to Iceland’s famous Golden Circle. Highlights include visits to Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir National Park, taking a dip in Iceland´s oldest swimming pool, and hiking in unique, beautiful surroundings.

    Day 1
    Reykjavík, Iceland

    The adventure begins

  • Day 2
    At sea

    Crossing the Denmark Strait

    August 3, 2023

    Relax and learn all about the Arctic as we follow in the wake of Viking explorers

    Voyaging westward, MS Fram enters the Denmark Strait, waters once sailed by Erik the Red and other Viking explorers on their way to Greenland. As we sail, the ship has plenty of onboard facilities for you to use. In the Science Center, you can learn all about the Arctic, its wildlife, and its inhabitants.

    Get to know your Expedition Team. They will give lectures about upcoming destinations and inform you of how to protect wildlife habitats and the best ways to keep a safe distance from animals. Later, chat with other guests over a drink in the Explorer Lounge & Bar.

    Day 2
    At sea

    Crossing the Denmark Strait

  • Day 3-11
    Scoresbysund fjord system

    Largest fjord system on Earth

    August 4, 2023 - August 12, 2023

    Spend over a week exploring the most immense fjord system on the planet.

    This enormous fjord system is renowned for its spectacular scenery. Glistening white and blue icebergs float on the mirror-like waters amid mountains towering to 6,500 feet. The serenity is broken only by the cries of sea birds, such as little auks, puffins, fulmars, and gulls.

    The waters are also home to various species of whales and seals. Your Captain and Expedition Team will seek out opportunities to go ashore for nature walks or explore the fjords by kayak. Keep your eyes open! On land, you may spot musk oxen, Arctic foxes, Greenlandic gyrfalcons, and mountain hares.

    Day 3-11
    Scoresbysund fjord system

    Largest fjord system on Earth

  • Day 4
    Denmark Strait

    Heading back to Iceland

    August 5, 2023

    Relax at sea as we head back to Iceland.

    After exploring the remote beauty of east Greenland, we’ll set our course back to Iceland. Spend time recapping your experiences with your new friends, studying nature in the Science Center, or just relaxing out on deck. Track the seabirds following the ship or see if you can spot some whales. As you reflect on your expedition cruise so far, you’ll now understand and fully appreciate the precious nature of Greenland. From the delicate ecology of the fjord systems to the ethereal elegance of the ice and glaciers, we hope that this beauty has made its mark on you. Don’t worry, there’s plenty more to come!

    Day 4
    Denmark Strait

    Heading back to Iceland

  • Day 13

    The start of your next adventure

    August 14, 2023

    Take a trip to the Blue Lagoon for an unforgettable outdoor spa experience.

    Upon returning to Reykjavík, you have another opportunity to explore the delights you may have missed on your first visit. Don’t forget, this city is full of art, culture, galleries, and museums. Or if you simply wish to relax, why not take a trip to the famous Blue Lagoon?

    Relax in geothermally heated water that shines bright blue, caused by the silica and many other minerals carried down the volcanic landscape. As you soak, enjoy a drink and chat with locals and fellow guests as you look forward to the next step on your adventure: the wondrous west coast of Greenland and the Northwest Passage!

    Day 13

    The start of your next adventure

  • Day 14-15
    At sea

    Denmark Strait, revisited

    August 15, 2023 - August 16, 2023

    Onward! We now head toward Greenland and the Northwest Passage.

    Continuing the adventure, we spend today at sea. The Denmark Strait is actually the site of the world’s largest waterfall... underwater! The mixture of warm and cold currents and strong winds means that the waters here are sometimes a bit choppy.

    Feel like staying active? Hit up the gym and get your blood pumping. Don’t forget you’ll have access to the sauna, an infinity pool, and two outdoor hot tubs. Grab a drink in the panoramic Explorer Lounge & Bar, sink into a sofa, and let the rhythmic waves of the ocean roll by.

    Day 14-15
    At sea

    Denmark Strait, revisited

  • Day 16
    Prins Christian Sound Region

    A river of melted ice

    August 17, 2023

    Follow in the footsteps of explorer John Cabot among jagged mountain peaks.

    Expect some of the most incredible landscapes on the planet as we cruise into Prins Christian Sound. The explorer John Cabot compared the view, with its bergs and floes, to a ‘river of melted ice’. Jagged mountain peaks rise to 7,200 ft, their muted grey and green hues contrasting sharply with the brilliant white glaciers.

    The only sign of human presence here is the weather station that the US installed in World War II, and the small hunting and fishing village of Aappilattoq. If our passage is blocked by sea ice, we will begin an alternative itinerary to Cape Farewell, the southernmost point of Greenland.

    Day 16
    Prins Christian Sound Region

    A river of melted ice

  • Day 17

    Icy expedition day

    August 18, 2023

    Enjoy an expedition day in one of Greenland’s most picturesque fjords.

    The unspoiled Kvanefjord is a 30-mile inlet in Sermersooq, the ‘Place of Much Ice’. Icebergs and floes glide past in pristine white with shades of blue as we sail along the fjord. Be among the few visitors to admire the majestic scenery of this almost unexplored place.

    Depending on the weather and the ice conditions, your Captain and the Expedition Team will look for the chance to launch the ship’s small boats (RIBs) and maybe even land ashore to stretch your legs and view the local wildlife. Have your camera ready to record this adventure!

    Day 17

    Icy expedition day

  • Day 18
    Nuuk, Greenland

    The Capital of Greenland

    August 19, 2023

    Explore Greenland’s capital and take a scenic hike in Paradise Valley.

    Greenland’s capital is located at the mouth of a fjord system and is a cheery and fascinating place, filled with colorful houses and mix of old and ultra-modern architecture. Founded in 1728, Nuuk is Greenland’s oldest modern-day settlement, but still has fewer than 18,000 citizens.

    This picturesque city has a cathedral, museums, and several restaurants and cafés to suit all tastes. Make sure to visit the house of Hans Egede, Nuuk’s founder. Ot dates to 1721 and is the oldest building in Greenland. You could also take a long nature walk through Paradise Valley, featuring splendid views and small lake.

    Day 18
    Nuuk, Greenland

    The Capital of Greenland

  • Day 19
    Sisimiut, Greenland

    Fur, fox holes, and outdoor fun

    August 20, 2023

    Musk oxen, Arctic foxes, and a popular venue for adventurous activities

    Sisimiut is a modern town with a spectacular location 25 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Human settlement here dates back 4,500 years, giving its small museum many local artifacts. The people are proud of their traditions and maintain them.

    The name Sisimiut translates as ‘The People at the Fox Holes’, a reference to the burrows of the Arctic foxes which live here. Another local animal is the musk ox, whose thick fur provides the material for qiviut fabric. The town is a regional hub and is a popular venue for Arctic activities like skiing and dog sledding.

    Day 19
    Sisimiut, Greenland

    Fur, fox holes, and outdoor fun

  • Day 20
    Ilulissat, Greenland

    Icefjord - UNESCO World Heritage Site

    August 21, 2023

    Enjoy a beautiful hike to an Inuit settlement from this colorful World Heritage Site

    Our journey brings us to Disko Bay, one of Greenland’s major attractions. The nutrient-rich waters of Ilulissat’s bay once supported huge populations of whales, walruses, and seals. Erik the Red is credited as the first European to enter the bay, settling in the area in 985 A.D.

    Today, the area is a World Heritage Site and a vibrant hub for those seeking adventure on Greenland’s icecap. You can take a short-but-beautiful hike from the colorful houses by the water to the old Inuit settlement of Sermermiut. Or, simply relax and watch the icebergs change hue as they slowly drift by.

    Day 20
    Ilulissat, Greenland

    Icefjord - UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Day 21-22
    Labrador Sea

    Crossing the Davis Strait

    August 22, 2023 - August 23, 2023

    Sailing toward Canada from Greenland

    We leave Greenland and set course for Canada, crossing the Davis Strait and entering the Labrador Sea. The strait is named after the English explorer John Davis, who led expeditions in search of the Northwest Passage from 1585 to 1587.

    As the ship sails along, enjoy onboard presentations from your Expedition Team. Topics may include the wildlife of northern Labrador, Inuit culture, expedition photography, and the explorers of the Canadian Arctic. Via the Citizen Science and Globe Observer projects, you can also make your own contribution to science and our knowledge of this region.

    Day 21-22
    Labrador Sea

    Crossing the Davis Strait

  • Day 23-29
    The Northwest Passage

    The heart of the Northwest Passage

    August 24, 2023 - August 30, 2023

    Sail into the heart of the fabled Northwest Passage in the wake of famed explorers.

    We now begin to follow the trail of historic explorers as we sail into the heart of the Northwest Passage. Many failed in their attempts to discover the fabled Northwest Passage, which would connect the Atlantic and the Pacific. The route was finally established by Roald Amundsen from 1903 to 1906.

    The sea ice varies from year to year, but we will try to follow the route bringing you to the Inuit and European settlements that played such a large part in the history of exploration in this territory. These include the traditional Inuit community of Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik) and the abandoned settlement of Dundas Harbor, which has several archeological sites. The scenery is stunning and there are ample opportunities to observe local wildlife.

    Day 23-29
    The Northwest Passage

    The heart of the Northwest Passage

  • Day 30
    Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island

    A fitting place to end the expedition

    August 31, 2023

    The end of your expedition cruise is a place famed for its legendary explorers.

    It’s only fitting for your expedition cruise to end here, where Arctic explorers of old often sheltered while seeking the Northwest Passage. Now you can add your name to that illustrious list, which of course includes the legendary Roald Amundsen.

    Cambridge Bay is a hamlet with fewer than 2,000 residents. The region’s native name reveals the biggest clue about the region’s hunting and fishing heritage. In Inuinnaqtun, Cambridge Bay is called ‘Iqaluktuuttiaq’, meaning a ‘good fishing place’.

    The abundant wildlife, including musk oxen and caribou, is an obvious point of attraction for explorers. From here, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Montréal, where you’ll spend the night.

    Day 30
    Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island

    A fitting place to end the expedition

  • Day 31
    Montréal, Canada

    Say ‘au revoir’ in Quebec’s premier city

    September 1, 2023

    It’s the perfect place to cap off your expedition cruise.

    Your adventure starts in Montréal, the largest city in the beautiful province of Quebec, and the second-most populous city in Canada. The city is a hub for Canadian history and culture. It has a modern cosmopolitan feel, brought about by both French and British influences.

    Montréal is famed for its year-round festive atmosphere, with a variety of events and festivals. Unwind after a day’s exploration at one of the pubs and bars along Downtown’s Crescent Street, renowned for their welcoming social atmosphere. Enjoy a cocktail on a terrace or share memories of your epic month-long expedition cruise with some of your new-found friends!


    Why go home so soon? Add some extra time and join our optional half-day Montréal Sightseeing & Savoir-Vivre Tour. You’ll see Montréal’s culturally diversity and visit the landmarks that make it such a unique and wonderful city. Discover Montréal’s architecture, rich heritage, and charm while strolling through a maze of narrow lanes and old buildings. We’ll also stop to pick up some of Montréal’s famous bagels and visit Little Italy to enjoy a tasting of local produce at the popular Jean-Talon market.

    Day 31
    Montréal, Canada

    Say ‘au revoir’ in Quebec’s premier city



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What's Included

Included in Your Expedition


  • Overnight in Montréal after the expedition cruise, including breakfast


  • Economy flight from Cambridge Bay to Montréal


  • Transfer from the ship to the airport in Cambridge Bay after the Expedition cruise. Transfer from the airport in Montréal to the hotel after the expedition cruise

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in the cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurant Aune
  • Fine-dining À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is included for suite guests
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
  • Range of included excursions

Onboard activities

  • Experts from the Expedition Team present detailed lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center, which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • The Citizen Science program, which allows guests to contribute to current scientific research projects
  • The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • The ship has hot tubs, a sauna, and an indoor gym
  • Participate in informal gatherings with the crew, such as daily recaps and the next day’s preparations

Landing activities

  • Escorted landings with small boats (RIBs)
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographers help you configure your camera settings

Not Included In Your Expedition

  • International flights
  • Travel protection
  • Baggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team


  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please ensure you can meet all entry and boarding requirements.
  • No gratuities are expected
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo
MS Fram in Antarctica
Photo: Sandra Walser
Your Ship

MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2022
Shipyard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 250 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 11,647 T
Length 374 ft
Beam 66.3 ft
Speed 13 knots
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo

The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of its time and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled. The advanced technology on the MS Fram, in the spirit of the famous original, makes her exceptionally well suited for expedition cruises in polar regions.

Read more about MS Fram

Icebergs – one of many favorite photo motives when on an expedition with MS Fram
Photo: Tomas Mauch

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